Other Driving-Induced Stress and GPS Dependence

I was even concerned about how I drove. Not how safely I was driving, but whether my driving was appearing odd or slightly annoying to other drivers. I didn’t want to be in the passing lane for too long while someone even faster was coming up behind me, but sometimes the vehicle I tried to pass would pick up speed. I didn’t want to waste gas, thereby wasting money, so I didn’t want to go above a certain speed. But, I couldn’t stand being behind someone going slower than me, unless it was due to heavy traffic. Even if I was going only slightly faster than them, I was irritated. I wanted to go at a steady 65 mph on the highway at all times. No faster, no slower. A fantasy, I know. Sometimes it would happen where I would pass someone and they would then pass me again. Like a dance. Sometimes I wouldn’t pass someone fast enough, so the car behind me would cut over two lanes to the right in order to pass on that side. I’m well aware that driver was impatient, like me, but I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for causing a slight annoyance to another driver. I suppose it would be hypocritical to get annoyed at them for their lack of patience when I myself lack patience for others.

That is why I love driving at night. No traffic so I can go whatever speed I want, under the speed at which I’d likely be pulled over by a cop of course, and just cruise. The stress I got while driving also made me lose patience quicker and honk at people who don’t move when the light turns green. At one traffic light, a driver took long enough to go when the light turned green that it turned yellow again before the next car made it through the intersection. After witnessing this, I became more impatient when someone didn’t immediately move when the light turned green for fear the light would change again and I would be stuck at the light another two or three minutes unnecessarily.

I was afraid to leave my home without a GPS. After living in the new area for several years, I still didn’t know how to get around at all. It was undoubtedly due to my infrequent and narrow-ranged driving habits. When people tried to give me directions, there would come a point in which they named a landmark of some sort to make it easier for me to find. They would say something like ‘you know where [insert place name here] is, right?’ The answer was always a big nope. Traffic was also much more pronounced here than it was in my hometown. I was not used to rush hour traffic regularly causing hour long delays. Now, even when I knew how to get someplace I needed the GPS to make sure to avoid as much traffic as possible. I had to plan my days to avoid driving during rush hour as much as possible.

2 thoughts on “Other Driving-Induced Stress and GPS Dependence

    1. GPS wasn’t really around for us 20 years ago, so we had to rely on written directions, which (I think) may have helped us learn areas faster. You had to be aware of your surroundings then, but with GPS it’s a bit easier to not pay attention and just obey the commands as you hear them. Not to discourage its use obviously, because it’s extremely helpful in confusing places and for saving time.

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